Socrates' Iolaos: Myth and Eristic in Plato's Euthydemus

Classical Quarterly 40 (02):378- (1990)
The Euthydemus presents a brilliantly comic contrast between Socratic and sophistic argument. Socrates' encounter with the sophistic brothers Euthydemus and Dionysodorus exposes the hollowness of their claim to teach virtue, unmasking it as a predilection for verbal pugilism and the peddling of paradox. The dialogue's humour is pointed, for the brothers' fallacies are often reminiscent of substantial dilemmas explored seriously elsewhere in Plato, and the farce of their manipulation is in sharp contrast to the sobriety with which Socrates pursues his own protreptic questioning. But the strategies of this text are complex: the Euthydemus may be a playful satire of the desire to confound, yet beneath its knockabout humour a serious purpose is also visible
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800042968
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